Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Pages From the Heart Winner!

I'm positively thrilled to announce that my work in progress, THE LORD OF DRUEMARWIN, is the winner of the Pages From the Heart Published Author Fantasy category. I entered to get a 'cold read' of my first 24 pages, so I was suitably pleased when it made the finals, not to mention over the moon to have it win.

The book is a sequel to my debut novel, THE PRINCE OF VAL-FEYRIDGE, and I've been enjoying immersing myself in the world I created a long time ago to occupy my imagination on long car trips, etc. I've also been enjoying making my hero and heroine suffer all the twists and trials that same imagination can conjure up for them. And they--bless them--have been revealing all sorts of little tidbits about themselves that I can use to torment them farther.

On a side note, be sure to enter The Romance Reviews Year End Splash Party month-long contest. A Kindle copy of BLOODSTONE is up for grabs on Sunday, Nov. 22. Click on the Splash Party link to the left to go to the contest, then come back to my BLOODSTONE page on the right to find the answer to the trivia question. Good luck!

Friday, October 30, 2015

November Giveaway and Author Appearance!

I'm setting up for The Romance Reviews' Year End Splash Party November-long giveaway contest. For my part I'm giving away a Kindle copy of BLOODSTONE. Pop over to The Romance Reviews on November 22, answer the trivia question correctly, and enter for a chance to win!

Coming next weekend, Nov. 6-7, is the Southeast Wisconsin Book Festival at the UW-Waukesha campus: For the first time ever, I'll be visiting the festival as a presenting author. Book sales and signings will be held on Saturday starting at 8:30 a.m. I'll be part of the The Odd Squad, a panel by Wisconsin Romance Writers' fantasy, sci-fi, and paranormal authors to be held from 10:30-11:30 a.m. 

Stop by and say, "Hi!" Attendance is free. But, being as it's a book-oriented event, you'll probably open your wallet anyway. I know I will. What's not to love about books?

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

99 cent SALE!

For two weeks only! Friday, Oct. 16-midnight Thursday, Oct. 29, THE PRINCE OF VAL-FEYRIDGE e-book will be on sale for just 99 cents.

The Wild Rose Press will begin the action, but other e-retailers should quickly follow. Here are some links:
The Wild Rose Press
All Romance E-Books 

This is my first sale, so I'm excited to see what attention it brings to my debut fantasy romance.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Coming Soon!

I'm thrilled to announce that on September 1st, BLOODSTONE will debut as an AmazonEncore edition.

AmazonEncore has picked up exclusive rights to the e-book version from The Wild Rose Press and will distribute it under a new ASIN: The print version will continue to be available from The Wild Rose Press, Amazon, and other retailers.

This is a grand experiment--and quite an honor--for me to have my book chosen by Amazon as one that they plan to put the weight and might of their promotional machine behind. I'm excited to see what they have planned!

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Anxious August

Did you know that it’s possible to have an emotional reaction to a calendar month? According to an article I recently saw on Yahoo, it’s true. Depending on what events or emotions we individually associate with a particular month, we develop a long-lasting aversion to or affinity for a particular calendar month.

August has always made me anxious. Most parents are cheerfully—or desperately—looking forward to carting their young off to school. Those youngsters are enjoying the balmy days of summer tans, swimming pools, and sleeping in. It’s usually a glorious month in the Midwest, full of corn on the cob, county fairs, and summer trips. But I’ve never fully enjoyed it. Once July becomes August, my sense of unease stirs.

Now I’m finally able to pinpoint a reason—or reasons—for it. My emotional calendar has recorded an inordinate number of disturbances in the month for as long as I can remember.

I’m a military brat. Almost every August I was eyeballing a new school, another set of classmates’ and teachers’ names to learn, a new locker combination to decipher, a new address and phone number to memorize, another walk home or bus number/stop to remember.

After all that, you’d think I’d know better, but I went into teaching. So, every August, I’d dread the in-service prep days because there was never enough time during them to actually prepare my classroom and lessons, so I’d have to go in days earlier. That would shorten my last bit of summer. Plus, even if I didn’t change schools, every year brought new classes to teach, lots of new names to learn, new colleagues, new administrators, new policies and procedures.

And the back-to-school sales would come earlier and earlier every year, reminding me summer would soon be over and all that stress would begin again at the end of August.

Gee, is it any wonder the turn of the calendar gave me the August anxieties?

This is my second August without a classroom looming at the end of it, but I still feel the August trembles. I’m working at it, but it’s going to take me awhile to reeducate my emotional calendar.

What about you? What’s your emotional calendar say?

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Summer Reading

I've been reading a lot lately, and I like to mix up my reading--a little historical, some middle-grade adventure, contemporary romantic suspense, adult sci-fi romance. Basically, I like variety rather than following the current trend toward binge-watching in TV and video.

I have to admit I do hate it when an awesome book ends and I have to leave that world, but I also hate to find myself at loose ends with nothing by the same author or involving the same group of characters to anticipate. I like to savor instead of gulping it all down.

And I like to revisit.

If a book is good enough to go on my 'keeper' shelf, that means it deserves being re-read. So in between new books this year, I've been revisiting books I've read and held onto. In fact, on my Goodreads page, I've created a 'books worth re-reading' shelf for the treasures I've rediscovered.

This is especially a place for appreciating series. Reading the books one a year as they came out, such as in Rick Riordan's Percy Jackson series, is all well and good, but the experience is richer when taken together so I can better see the clever laying of clues and the character development. And the books still leave me breathless on the second read.

"So many books, so little time," is absolutely true. And I'm determined to read as many of them as I can. But I also plan to savor because a truly wonderful book is worth the extra time to read thoroughly and enjoy over and over again.

Friday, May 8, 2015

Sizzling Summer Reads Party--Giveaway coming soon!

I'm setting up for The Romance Reviews Sizzling Summer Reads Party from June 1-30. For my part, I'll be giving away a Kindle copy of THE PRINCE OF VAL-FEYRIDGE. Pop over to TRR's site on June 17th and correctly answer a multiple choice question on the book, and you'll be entered for a chance to win.

Next week I'll be at the Von Stiehl Winery in Algoma, Wisconsin, for a Wine and Romance event. Twelve Wisconsin romance authors, including yours truly, will be pairing our books with Von Stiehl's wines for a combination tasting and reading. Details can be found here:
I've chosen their 2012 Stony Creek Red for its ruby color and dark cherry and oak flavors to match BLOODSTONE. Hope you can join us on Saturday, May 16th!

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Author Appearances, Book Club Talks, and--oh yes--Giveaways!

Despite a bitterly cold March and April, I've had the good fortune to get out and about to a number of events.

Most recent, a local book club appearance where the group had chosen to read THE PRINCE OF VAL-FEYRIDGE. This was my first book club experience, and I thoroughly enjoyed discussing my work with readers. It was very interesting to see what they took from the book and what they saw in it. After all, a book is really a conversation between the author and the reader where both bring their unique experiences to the text on the page. Most of the time, however, they don't get to share their insights face-to-face.

Last weekend I took in the Wisconsin Romance Writers of America (WisRWA) conference in Milwaukee where I got to hobnob with my fellow romance authors. Since the conference was held in conjunction with the Barbara Vey's Reader Appreciation Luncheon, I also got to play fangirl and visit my favorite authors, including the always amazing and personable Jade Lee, long-time favorite Lori Handeland, and the generous Jeannie Lin, who stopped at my signing table and picked up a postcard on BLOODSTONE. Yay!

At the end of March I was invited to speak to a writers group at the Northern Lights Arts Council in Amery, Wisconsin. This time my objective was to explain romance to writers who didn't write in the genre and most likely still held misconceptions about it. Nonetheless, they were very welcoming, and I'm told WisRWA gained a new member from that group. It was a treat to be there even if it took me a week to get my talk ready. Here's a couple of photos:
Currently, I've launched a Goodreads Giveaway for PRINCE OF VAL-FEYRIDGE. Click on the icon on the right if you'd like to enter.

Upcoming in May is a Wine and Romance Event in Algoma, Wisconsin, along Lake Michigan. Pairing wines and books is such a no-brainer, I'm astonished I've not seen it done before. Looking forward to May 16. Maybe I'll see you there!

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Happy 451st Birthday, Will!

That is, William Shakespeare, otherwise known as “The Bard of Stratford,” national treasure of England and bane of English students everywhere.

That’s unfortunate because Will Shakespeare wasn’t a literary writer, although we’ve since enshrined him as such. He was instead a writer of popular fiction, fiction designed for the masses, meant to fill the theaters for a week before the audience in London demanded something new. He was in competition with the other writers of his time, looking for his spot on the Elizabethan equivalent of the best-seller list. Over nearly two decades, he was prolific enough and popular enough to retire to the country with a small fortune.

Good old Will wrote edge-of-the-seat drama, slapstick comedy, witty repartee, and sizzling romance.
That’s right, romance. In a two hour play, using just the lines of dialogue, this Bard guy gave us all the emotional insight we need to understand how two characters who verbally rip each other apart each time they meet can find their way to admit fault, apologize, and find love. Of course it takes some prodding by meddling friends, but that’s to be expected in a romantic comedy.

And then there are the two guys who want the same girl who runs off with one of them because her father wants her to marry the other one, but then “true love never did run smooth.” Of course there’s another girl spurned by the second guy who just has to chase him while he chases the lovers. Meddling fairies literally drag them through the mud until they sort out their true affections during a harrowing night in the woods
Fun stuff. Sounds like something you’d see on “Once Upon a Time” on TV today. Definitely not what critics would call “literary.”

If you’ve not seen Much Ado about Nothing starring Emma Thompson and Kenneth Branagh or A Midsummer Night’s Dream featuring Michelle Pfeiffer and Kevin Kline, visit your local library today and check out their movie section.

There’s a lot we romance writers can learn from this 451-year-old guy from Stratford-upon-Avon.

You rule, Will!

Tuesday, March 3, 2015


The Romance Reviews month-long March Anniversary Party and contest is going on now! 

I'm delighted to take part in celebrating romance books and reading in general. On Saturday, March 14th, one e-copy of BLOODSTONE will be up for grabs. 

To enter, go to The Romance, log in, and correctly answer a trivia question about BLOODSTONE. Hint: You can find the answer on my BLOODSTONE preview page here: Bloodstone page.

Go there, go often. There are literally hundreds of participating authors giving away lots of great books. 

Happy Reading!

Friday, January 30, 2015

Valentine's Day Booksigning!

I'm excited to be taking part in an awesome event celebrating romance on February 14th. An amazing group of WisRWA members in Chippewa Falls, WI, have organized an author meet-and-greet and booksigning for nearly 20 authors at a local coffee shop in Chippewa Falls. Authors from Wisconsin and Minnesota will be there, eager to meet readers and talk romance on the most romantic day of the year. There will be goody bags and great fun for all. I hope you'll join us for this debut event.